The Canary Islands were formed as the result of volcanic activity but, more specifically, the Timanfaya National Park, covering an area of 50 sq klm, was created during a series of eruptions between 1730-1736. Because of the absence of rain and other erosive factors, the scenery today remains much as it was at the end of that period. The lava flow was dramatic and swept away several villages yet, strangely, there were no fatalities. The extent of the lava field is quite apparent and there is a clear demarcation of where the devastation reached.
The Timanfaya National Park is noted for its strange ‘lunar’ landscape. There are vast areas of ‘clinker’, but in other places the texture reflects the solidified lava streams.
The eruptions between 1730-1736 created more than 100 volcanoes known as the Montanas del Fuego or Fire Mountains. The last, smaller, eruption was in 1824 and the area remains ‘active’ though ‘dormant’. Nevertheless there is intense heat a few metres below the surface measuring 400-600 degrees centigrade. At the ‘El Diablo’ restaurant at the summit the cooking uses geothermal heat – food is grilled on an iron grid placed above a bore hole through which heat rises.
The craters reveal the strata of the volcanic formations and also the range of colours created by the intense heat.
It is time for a short break from the wintry and wet weather of recent weeks.
I am using this picture as a curtain raiser to a series taken in the Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote. It also introduces several features that will be apparent later, such as the topography, scale, colours, patterns and textures.
If you have difficulty locating the walkers click on the image to enlarge.